23 June, 2011

Your Website is a Waste of Money

I know, I know, last week I said your website could be the best investment a small business owner could make for your business today.

So why on earth is it a huge waste of money?

Because most business owners forget to follow through.

I’ll give you an example from my own experience as a customer.

Not long ago I wanted to get my carpets cleaned. I decided I wanted to have a look at the difference between a dry-cleaned carpet service and a steam-cleaned.

Just getting an answer to that question was unbelievably hard (*hint, hint, if you run a carpet cleaning business*). But once I filtered through a whole lot of sales hype I came to the conclusion a steam clean was probably the better choice for our household.

So then I wanted to find a carpet cleaner in my area. I did the usual “google it” and found a couple of services.

One was a brilliant website, well designed, professional, all most of the bells and whistles any good online marketing consultant would recommend. They even had a request a quote form which included my phone number and email address. I dutifully filled out each box on the form and sent it with a click.

I found another site which wasn’t quite so fancy, but had most of the basics a good small-business website should have. Again it had a request a quote form which I filled out and sent.

About three hours later I got a call from the second guy – his quite was close-enough in line with what he had set as an expectation of my cost by his website, that I gave him my business and was very happy with the job. So happy, in fact, I recommended him to my mother-in-law two days later.

So for the cost of the call, he made two sales.

The first business? Never heard from them. Nuthin, nada, zip. No calls, no emails, absolutely nothing.

I can’t figure the logic – fancy spending thousands and thousands on good online marketing advice for nothing! Fancy spending thousands to get their website in its current condition and ranking. Fancy spending all that money to promote your business and never even call someone who wants to spend money with you! That first small business owner made a useless and costly investment in their online marketing. Their website is a complete waste of thousands and thousands of dollars.

The second guy made a good investment.

So, which business owner are you? What do you do to make sure your website isn’t a waste of money?